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Chapter 6 - Conclusion

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Overall, the U.S. and Canadian governments find that implementation of the Agreement has been a success. It is being implemented effectively and the binational policy objectives are being met.

Since the Agreement came into force, asylum seekers have been provided with access to a full and fair refugee status determination process in one country or the other. Implementation has been in full compliance with international refugee protection principles and in accordance with international human rights instruments. By establishing clear and consistent criteria for the allocation of responsibility for adjudicating asylum applications, an effective mechanism to share responsibility for providing protection to refugees in North America has been established. At the land borders, exceptions are being effectively adjudicated and refugee claimants are treated fairly and with respect. By putting in place an orderly process, the Agreement has served to reduce the potential for misuse and strengthened public confidence in the integrity of both countries’ refugee determination systems.

Both governments are pleased to note that considerable progress has been made on the vast majority of the recommendations contained in this report, and look forward to continued support from partners in our collaborative efforts to address any outstanding issues. The strong partnership between Canadian and U.S. colleagues in conducting this review has reaffirmed our two governments’ binational commitment to international cooperation for responsibility sharing with respect to refugee protection.

Both governments would like to take this opportunity to thank the UNHCR for its efforts in the monitoring and review of the Agreement during its first year of implementation.

Furthermore, both governments would also like to acknowledge the valuable contribution made by NGOs. Both governments are committed to our international refugee obligations and value the cooperation of our partners in ensuring that protection rights are upheld. This review marks an important step in building strong public support and partner confidence in the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement.

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